Arts

Arts give us a way to explore our lives and the lives of others, whether it's on canvas, on-stage or on a page.

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Though Alfred Sisley never found the fame that some of his fellow Impressionists did, he was instrumental in the rise of the famous movement. Studying alongside Monet, his landscapes and plein air techniques that make him a good example of the Impressionist movement.

By Debra N. Mancoff

Mary Cassatt was one of the few women and the only American invited to join the Impressionists. Throughout Mary Cassatt's career her intimate portrayal of women's lives added a dimension to the subject of female modern life. See the artwork of Mary Cassatt.

By Debra N. Mancoff

Impressionist Paul Gauguin is most famous for his paintings of native life in Tahiti. The later part of his career he separated from the Impressionist movement and led the next generation of artists. See this revolutionary painter's artwork.

By Debra N. Mancoff

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Paul Signac is not the most famous of the Impressionists, but he was an important figure in the history of the movement. He made the transition from Impressionism to Neo-Impressionism. Read about the career and see the artwork of Paul Signac.

By Debra N. Mancoff

Paul Serusier met Paul Gauguin in 1888 and shortly afterward painted The Talisman. The Talisman is a suggestive arrangement of colors on a two-dimensional surface. Read about the Impressionist Paul Serusier and his enigmatic work.

By Debra N. Mancoff

Before there was the movie, there was Impressionist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He became famous for his depictions of Parisian nightlife, including a painting titled, "At the Moulin Rouge". See the artwork of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

By Debra N. Mancoff

For years, amateur theorists and art historians have considered whether "The Last Supper" contains hidden imagery. In this article, we'll explore this idea and the mysteries behind it.

By Jacob Silverman

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The human blockhead act involves a performer hammering a nail into their nostril. Learn about the human blockhead and how the human blockhead avoids injury.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Sword swallowing is an extremely dangerous trick that doesn't involve illusions. How can it be real? We'll show you — with explanations and diagrams of the interactions between swords and the upper GI tract. Just don't try this at home!

By Tracy V. Wilson

In circuses, sideshows and other venues, lying on a bed of nails is an expression of a performer's stamina, bravery and imperviousness to pain. In reality, it's a matter of pressure transference and has been practiced for years around the world.

By Tracy V. Wilson

A magician or street performer walking barefooted across broken glass is a dramatic spectacle. Find out how people can walk across glass without hurting themselves.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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"Fantastic Four" hit the big screen in 2005, a decade after Roger Corman produced the first Fantastic Four movie. Learn how the unreleased 1994 movie and the new Fantastic Four movie franchise compare to the source material.

By Jonathan Strickland

Today artists use stone lithography to produce fine art prints but 150 years ago it was THE color-printing technology. It's an incredible art form. Take a photo-filled look at this fascinating process.

By Marshall Brain

It began with an e-mail from a reader who asked "Who would win in a fight -- a Jedi Knight or Superman?" That was all it took for us to wonder how Superman would fare against other stars from movies, books and comic books.

By Tracy V. Wilson & Robert Valdes

Most of us know that kryptonite is lethal for Superman, but do you know the precise scientific explanation for its effect? Find out just what it does to Superman and then consider what your own 'kryptonite' might be.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Improv Everywhere is many things: A stage for the stageless; a script for struggling actors who have yet to take Broadway by storm; an attempt to get New Yorkers to remove their earbuds -- which is not as easy as it might seem.

By Julia Layton

Surely this is some sort of stereotypical uber-nerd who decided to take his obsession on the road. Not quite -- the creator of "One Man Star Wars" is well-versed in both acting and directing. But can a Star Wars fan go too far?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Fire breathing is one of the most dangerous performance arts out there. To get an inside look at how fire breathing works, HowStuffWorks interviewed two fire breathers, including Mike Garner -- a juggler and vaudevillian performer who started breathing fire in 1993.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The Batmobile in "Batman Begins" is real -- a physical object not a CG graphic. And yet the Batmobile is also an illusion. How can that be? Learn about the Batmobile and how it comes to life in "Batman Begins."

By Marshall Brain

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The Batsuit does a lot more for Batman than make him look scary. On its own the suit is an impressive piece of technology. The Batsuit combines armor, communications and combat technologies into one state-of-the-art system. Learn how the Batsuit works!

By Robert Valdes

Wonder Woman's creator was a radical psychologist/inventor/attorney who had two wives with two children each, all living together as one family. With an unconventional upbringing, it's no wonder one of America's favorite superheros has a unique career.

By Dave Coustan

When over a dozen people know your "secret identity," is it really fair to call it secret? Comic book pundit Matt Hunt reveals just how many characters are in on the superheroes' darkest secrets.

By Matt Hunt

A movie trailer shows Robin coming out of retirement to avenge Batman's death -- clashing with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Joker and the Penguin along the way. What's the story on this ultimate superhero movie?

By Dave Coustan

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Ever seen anyone putting on a show of walking barefoot across a bed of hot coals. Are they for real, or is it a trick? They are, in fact, walking barefoot on red-hot, glowing coals. Find out how it's done.

By Marshall Brain

The movie "Hellboy" scored big at the box office as millions of people were turned on to a new kind of hero. Find out how makeup artist Jake Garber brought the big red guy to life.

By Robert Valdes & Elizabeth Nixon